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The performance of District Health Boards is declining under this Labour-led Government’s lacklustre leadership, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

“The Ministry of Health recently published the 2018/19 Quarter Three Health Target Data file on its website – several months later than expected – which showed the health system has gone backwards in two thirds of the published metrics since David Clark became Health Minister.

“Performance has reduced so much that the Ministry of Health no longer publishes information on elective surgeries.

“What’s more, 17 of the 20 DHBs have poorer immunisation rates than they did before he became Minister, which is especially concerning during a measles outbreak, and 13 of them have shown poorer performance against the Faster Cancer Treatment target.

“Dr Clark should explain why he thinks New Zealanders don’t deserve timely updates on the performance of our DHBs, financial or otherwise, and how he’s going to ensure both monitoring and performance improve.

“This Government’s record on health is woeful and worsening. It’s scrapped health targets, which resulted in high immunisation rates, and still not delivered its long-awaited cancer plan.

“National regularly reported back on DHB performance as part of its commitment to better public services. This Government is failing in its commitment to being ‘open and transparent’.

“Dr Clark has also failed to make good on his promise to create a new set of performance measures that would improve health outcomes for New Zealanders. Like so many things that were promised, we’re still waiting. But Kiwis in need of healthcare don’t always have the luxury of time.

“In the absence of clear targets, performance in a range of key measure of Kiwis’ health shows things are getting worse. This Government must be held accountable for its failures on health.”

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